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When can drivers enter Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2023 | Alcohol-related Charges, Drunk Driving

Maryland has strict laws against driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. They could easily cause collisions, leading to physical harm or fatalities. Fortunately, the state employs many ways to enforce DUI laws, including its Ignition Interlock Program.

The running program uses ignition interlock tools to address drunk driving as a significant health and safety problem. Drivers who made specific offenses could be eligible for the program instead of suspension typical with traffic citations usually caused by refusing or failing blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests.

If a driver is eligible for the program, they could receive instructions for participation along with the order of suspension. If qualified, they could elect and enroll themselves, allowing them to use the ignition interlock device accordingly:

  • Around 180 days if BAC test results ranged from .08% to below .15%
  • A year if the BAC test result is at least .15%
  • A year for the driver’s refusal to take the BAC test

After completing the program, the driver could receive credit, allowing them to enroll again if they commit a similar violation.

When is enrollment mandatory?

State law provisions require offenders to enter the program if they commit the following violations:

  • Driving under the influence
  • DUI with a passenger who is below 16 years old
  • Caught for DUI with a prior offense for refusing a BAC test
  • DUI resulting in homicide or severe injuries

However, the terms and conditions of this requirement could vary, depending on the circumstances. Additional charges could also affect the convicted driver’s eligibility for the program.

Maximizing the use of ignition interlock devices

Other states have similar initiatives, but Maryland tries to maximize these devices for the benefit of the public, ranking sixth for most ignition interlocks installed and ninth for usage across the country. Some might consider it bothersome, but its efficient implementation and careful certification of standards could save lives from potentially dangerous DUI incidents.